Part 2: The True State Of The Qur'an


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"They Will Be found To Be Identical"?

  After all this we need to look again at Von Denffer’s preposterous claim that Islam has ‘two (2) originals which are identical to all other texts’: 

"In other words: two of the copies of the Qur’an which were originally prepared in the time of Caliph `Uthman, are still available to us today and their text and arrangement can be compared, by anyone who cares to, with any other copy of the Qur’an, be it in print or handwriting, from any place or period of time, they will be found to be indentical." (Ulum, p.64)
Von Denffer is not alone in his assertions. For example, the Khalifornia Internet site declares: 
"Uthman sent these six copies all over the Muslim world, keeping one copy in Madinah and returning the original master copy to Hafsah. These were known as the "Uthmanic Mushaf", and since then, Muslims duplicated all of their copies from these master copies. (In fact, three of these original six copies from this period exist today: one in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, another in the Cairo Museum, and a third in Bukhara).
The Uthmani copies are the oldest, and some copies still exist in the museums as mentioned earlier. The Uthmani copies of the Qur’an which exist in the various museums all date back 647 CE, which is only fourteen years after the death of the Prophet.
A scholar who is seriously interested in a study of the original copies of the Qur’an can go to the museums of Topkapi and Cairo and compare the original copies with the Qur’an which is recited today by over one billion Muslims. These copies are the authentic and oldest copies of the Qur’an available." (Preservation of the Qur’an,, 2/17/99)
Yet another site asserts: 
"Of the copies made by Uthman, two still exist to our day. One is in the city of Tashkent, (Uzbekistan) and the second one is in Istanbul (Turkey)." (Sabeel Ahmed, a former student of Ahmed Deedat,
 The same site displays a large diagram indicating that there are 2 methods of transmission of the Qur’an to what it labels ‘OUR TIME’. The 2 methods which are said to ‘assure’ that the Qur’an is the same today as it was in Muhammad’s day are ORAL and WRITTEN. Under the ‘WRITTEN’ side we find 2 things ONLY - ‘ISTANBUL COPY’ and ‘TASHKENT COPY’. We have already seen that this assertion concerning the ‘WRITTEN’ SOURCE is not a truth. 

Remember, we have only examined perhaps 33% of the Qur’an’s text1, and what we have shown does not represent all that we have found. Yet, it presents us with the clear perspective that although the manuscripts of the Qur’an are not anywhere near ‘identical’ and Islam isn’t copying the 



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the Samarqand MSS as an ‘original’, it has been quite prepared to lie about itself being able to, and attack others for not being able to. Islam can no longer tell us that it ‘relies’ on ‘perfect copies’ as its ‘Proof’. 

 Knowing as we do that Islam accepted all of ‘Uthman’s errors and made them ‘revelation’, we can believe that perhaps the ‘Uthmanic story is a cover-up for something far worse than Islam cares to reveal and the Samarqand is the last evidence?! Indeed, the tactics of Islam being what they are about telling tales about ‘ancient manuscripts’, it is altogether possible that the entire Samarqand text is simply another ‘Uthmanic manuscript strain which Islam has hidden from the world. 

 The truth is that Islam only cries ‘scribal error’ now that it has been caught misrepresenting itself by telling the world that this is an ’original’ and that all others are the copies, and that this is ‘Proof’ that the Qur’an is ‘Perfect and Preserved by Divine Decree’. And all the while shouting that everyone else has altered their ‘Books’!! 

 If Christians were guilty of doing this Islam would shout the roof down! 

 Is this the ‘perfection’ you have believed about and put your hope in? 

A Definite Change In Meaning

  While our purpose was solely to indicate letter differences and refute the idea that the Samarqand is ‘an original whose content proves the modern version’, we note one example of a meaning which is altered (in Q37:103) because of the letter differences which are present in the Samarqand MSS. 

 First we note the text from Page #652 of the Samarqand MSS (found in Appendix  A) which plainly begins with the letters waw mim-alif. A transliteration of the text shown (see to right) would be wa ma ‘aslamA
The translation of this is "And they did not submit (become muslims)". 

  Beneath that we find the text of the 1924 Egyptian Edition which begins with the 
letters fa-lam-mim-alif. A transliteration of the text would be falammA‘slamA. The translation of this is "When they too submitted (became muslims)". This is the exact opposite of the Samarqand MSS! 

 Still other texts contain wrong letters or wrong verb tenses. Are these ‘original’ grammatical errors that were later corrected in the same way as al-Hajjaj changed certain texts of the Qur’an? [See Chapter XIV, p165.] 

  DON’T PLACE YOUR HOPE OF HEAVEN ON THIS transmitting anything ‘Perfectly’!!


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Some Comments From The Internet On This Comparison

It is, of course, difficult for most followers of Islam to accept such a comparison solely from the mouth of a Christian. 

Thus we will note some comments made during June - Oct., 1999 on this aspect of the book after it was posted for discussion into the Islamic Internet discussion group soc.religion.islam. 

The following are the assertions of one follower of Islam who examined the text of ‘A Perfect Qur’an’ on the Internet. He possesses his own copy of the Samarqand MSS and intends to publish it: 

"I want to emphasise this point. Mark has found true manuscript variations in the Tashkent muSHaf. That is, they are "true" when it comes to actually representing changes of the *letters*." (Internet article
"For my own purposes, I am grateful for what Mark, the author of the "Perfect Qur’an" polemic, has discovered about the Tashkent. It is extremely tedious to search out these variations. (Internet article
"Mark has done an interesting piece of work by carefully searching for variations in the Tashkent. I hope to find the time to go over all the alleged variations he reports; I think he has saved me quite a bit of work, for it is not easy to read that script. What I’d like to do is determine if there are any characteristics in the Tashkent which relate to the variations in the transmitted readings. So far, I have found none, which is, by the way, another sign that the variations in the Tashkent are simply scribal errors, errors which were not, as Br. Ghoniem notes, passed on by the reciters. The oral transmission was primary, the written one secondary, though both were important and it was the combination of the two which made the preservation of the Qur’aan a remarkable as it is.
It is just that, in English, the word "perfect" does not allow any exceptions." (Internet article
The purpose of this Chapter has been solely to address persons who believe that the Samarqand MSS (Tashkent) is ‘a perfect original’ which ‘certifies’ fully the graphic form of the Qur’an. Such persons should now know NOT to place their hope of a ‘preserved Qur’an’ on it!

Why Are They ‘Outwitting’ Their Own People?

  Dr. Maurice Bucaille’s statement about the Bible can now certainly be seen to be another ‘outwitting’, something said with the full knowledge that it refers to the true condition of Islam and the Qur’an:

"The authenticity of a text, and of even the most venerable of manuscript, is always open to debate." (The Bible, Qur’an and Science, Bucaille, p. 79; as cited from The Qur’an and the Bible.., Campbell, p.132).
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  Perhaps, after all, Dr. Bucaille also examined the many problems of the Qur’an manuscripts and printed texts before making the following statement about the Bible which we restate for the present topic of the Qur’an: 

"It is not difficult to understand why from version to version, with all the corrections inevitably resulting, it was possible for the original [Arabic] text to have been transformed during the course of more than [1400] years." (The Bible, Qur’an and Science, Bucaille, p. 3; as cited from The Qur’an and the Bible.., Campbell, p.134).
  We can now understand why someone like Dr. Bucaille, who claims to have given up Jesus’ teaching [including obviously the one about not lying], finds it necessary to attack the ancient manuscripts of the Bible - Islam has nothing upon which it can stand so he must survive by attacking the credibility of others. 

  Yet, while such attacks are under way, the rest of Islam is busy tampering with its varying ‘original’ consonantal symbol texts, even eliminating the corruptions between the Kufan and Medinan texts and pretending they are copying ‘an original’ - in Tashkent! 

  It is necessary to issue the same challenge as Von Denffer For Those Who Want Truth, those who have been innocent victims, who have believed such "wilful tampering of truth and concealing of evidence"! Yes! "Take your own Qur’an and compare!" - but, fully compare the consonantal texts of Hafs and Warsh as are still in print, not a portion of one page which can be conveniently chosen to show ‘agreement’! Or, get a volume of ad-Dani’s al-Muqni, and examine the texts we have cited. Or, get a copy of the Samarqand manuscript and "COMPARE!!"

  The same observations must be made of the text of the Qur’an in Istanbul, which Von Denffer leads us to believe is the Medinan manuscript used by Nafi (Warsh’s teacher), and which he challenges us to compare with the rest of the Qur’ans in the world! 

  If the Istanbul manuscript agreed fully with the Medinan text with which we earlier compared the 1924 Egyptian Hafs (Kufan) text, and with which we have just compared the Samarqand manuscript, then the Turks are not now printing all that is there! For, as we have just seen and will see again later, the Turks have chosen to print a polluted mixture of the Hafs (Kufan) and Warsh (Medinan) graphic form, something the Egyptian’s chose to reject as impure. 

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Evidence That The Samarqand Manuscript Is Not An ‘Original’

 However, the reality is that there is much internal evidence to show that most of it is not even ‘early’, let alone ‘original’. 

 For those who are either knowledgeable or even simply observant, within the texts of the Samarqand Manuscript we have examined there have been many evidences of this. Some we will view now, others will be included as we proceed to other aspects of Islam’s tamperings. 

 Firstly, we note that Von Denffer admitted openly: 

All old Qur’anic script is completely without any diacritical points or vowel signs as explained above. Also there are no headings or separations between the suras nor any other kind of division, nor any formal indication of the end of a verse." (Ulum, p. 59f) 
 What need we say then when we find all of this in the Samarqand Manuscript, and not in dubious places, but where space has obviously been allotted to the particular matter by the one who was writing the text out!? 

 We note, for example, in the texts just presented from Pages 269, 337, 351, 535, 548, 582, 598, 599 and 665 that what at first appears to be a small diamond shaped object has been given place in the line of the text and that this corresponds to the verse endings as in the other text used for comparison. 

 We present as an example Page #582 [see below] where the marker [seen also enlarged] representing the end of Q26:77 was plainly not a later addition but was given space in the layout of the text. 

 Not only can the other Pages cited above be examined with the same conclusion, but we find other obvious verse-ending markers. 

 For example in Page #421 [seen at right] which bears the verse marker for Q15:21

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  This same type of verse ending marker is present on Page #557, where it represents the end of Q20:51 and on Page #279 for Q6:59. [See Appendix A for these examples.] 

  Although by no means all the Samarqand shows evidence of this, the intermittence of such markings only proves [along with the widely varying quality of script] that it is a conglomerate of many writings shoved together to try and fill out the missing portions of the text. What is present, however, shows that verse endings have been included by certain scribes as part of their planned text. These are not later insertions. 

  It was also noted that the same kind of large markers were used in the Samarqand Manuscript to identify the Ruku [sectional divisions]. Enough other evidence has been presented that examples of this are not required.

  Finally we find that while only several portions of the Samarqand text remain where one Surah met the next, these bear unmistakable evidence that Surah divisions were part of the text planning. The presence of all this denies overtly Von Denffer’s claim to this being an ‘original’. 

  The following are the existing Surah divisions with comments where needed. Again we compare using the 1924 Egyptian Edition. 

Page # 158: Surah 3 ends.


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 Page #494: Surahs 17 & 18 meet.

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Page #548: Surahs 19 & 20 meet.

Page #638: Surahs 36 & 37 meet.

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Page #662: Surahs 37 & 38 meet.

Page #713: Surahs 42 & 43 meet.

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 Lastly we may note that in many places a nun is denoted by the use of a stroke just above the stem. Similarly 2 strokes, even 3 strokes can be found above the stem to indicate ta and tha respectively. Since it could be argued that such were added later, examples will not be given. 

‘....Mix In One Small Portion Of The Syrian Text...’ 

 Of course, even if the claim is that it is the Damascus (Syrian) manuscript, ad-Dani has documented where it also differed. In fact, as we are about to look at the topic of ‘readings’ [i.e. the many and varied vocalisations - not just one - of the Qur’an’s text giving rise to differing meanings], this is a good place to note the presence of one such difference between the ‘Syrian’ text (graphic form) and the others as is present also in the Samarqand manuscript. 

 We note that on Page #336 the Samarqand manuscript (as seen at right) has an extra stem in Q7:3, something that is not in the modern version. But this does not make it a ‘scribal error’. 

 The reason is that ad-Dani noted (see his text at right) that this is the text of the Syrians, which, as can be seen, carries with it a different ‘reading’, variant meaning and all! 


 The reality is that Islam has NO ‘PROOF’ by which it can uphold its claims to an ‘unchanged Qur’an’, let alone for such a thing as ‘Divine Protection’. 

 Yet you have staked your eternal salvation on all this, including the deluding scholarship. 

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Is There Any Hope Of ‘Proving’ The Content Of An ‘Original’?

Perhaps this is a good time to address the question of whether Islam is or is not ‘able’ to ‘Prove’ the ‘original’ content of the Qur’an without it possessing an ‘original’ for comparison. 

AbdulRahman Lomax places the ‘oral’ and ‘written’ sources in a distinct order asserting, unlike most in Islam, that the oral transmission is the ‘primary source’ and the manuscripts are the ‘secondary source’. 

Yet examining other statements of his we find that he admits fully the question marks over accepting what his fellows generally accept as their ‘secondary source’, the purported ‘originals’. This he admitted in response to a question on the subj ect of Historical Research of the Quran. The question was put to him:

"Show me what preservation means. Can you show any complete Quran from the time of Muhammed or Uthman, in our (I say our in case of our common historical possession) possession.?"
AbdulRahman Lomax’s answer was: 
"It appears that by "complete Quran" Oving means a physical manuscript, on paper or parchment or palm-leaf or bone, or the like, intact and complete, and written no later than the time of 'Uthman, RA.
Do we have such a manuscript? There are a few possible candidates, but there are problems. There is the Tashkent, but there are reasons to suspect that it is somewhat later in date, and, in any case, it is not complete. There is the Topkapi, but we know little about it, and one of reasons why the Tashkent is suspect, the style of script, would also apply to the Topkapi.
There is the 'Ali ms., but, again, we know little about it.
But, nevertheless, we have the Qur'an from that time, and we can be even more certain about it than we would be merely from a single manuscript ascribed to the time. After all, even a genuine manuscript would probably be suspected for various reasons. 
And I suspect that *every* manuscript contains variations, especially the early ones. This is intrinsic to the process of writing, unless an *enormous* effort is expended to remove all variations, something which was not normally done, and which was probably not done even with the 'Uthmanic copies. It was simply too expensive and difficult, and there was no strong motive to do it, since the Qur'an was really preserved, not in writing, but by the reciters. 
And by examining the various recitations which were transmitted orally and in writing all over the world, we can come to a very good picture of the original Qur'an. (AbdulRahman Lomax, 1998/06/24, cited from
We have noted to some degree the correctness of his statement that "I suspect 
that every manuscript contains variations, especially the early ones.... even with the ‘Uthmanic copies." - we will soon note even more. 

However, as to our present topic, there is a further problem with relying upon ancient MSS as ‘Proof’ for the Qur’an, and that is that, as with the Samarqand MSS, they generally contain far less than 100% of the text. The Samarqand contained perhaps only 40%. There is no way to ‘certify’ most of the text in such a fashion. 

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What is left, then, is what AbdulRahman Lomax asserts, that "the Qur’an was really preserved, not in writing, but by the reciters." 

Yet even for those who do not look to the Samarqand MSS as an ‘original’ (or to the existence of any ‘original’) as their ‘Proof’, there HAS to remain a question mark, for many are unaware of the problems inherent in the ability of the ‘ORAL’ transmission (recitation) to ‘authenticate’ the Qur’an’s ‘original’ graphic form, let alone a ‘reading’ representing it accurately. 

We noted earlier the admissions of Islamic scholars that the ‘7 readings’ are NOT the ‘7 Ahruf’. Further, as ibn al-Jazari stated, that all readings which had a sound isnad, whose grammar was ‘probably’ sound Arabic, and were ‘close to’ the ‘Uthmanic text HAD TO BE ACCEPTED as the ‘7 Ahruf:

’"Every reading in accordance with Arabic (grammar), even if (only) in some way, and in accordance with one of the masahif of Uthman, even if only probable , and with sound chain of transmission, is a correct (sahih) reading which must not be rejected, and may not be denied, but it belongs to the seven modes (ahruf) according to which the Qur’an was revealed, and the people are obliged to accept it..." 
Surely this "in accordance with Arabic (grammar), even if only in some way" must be seen now as an admission that those who were transmitting the readings were often deficient in their Arabic - OR that this was a distinct admission that those who had gathered around Muhammad (and perhaps even Muhammad) were deficient in their Arabic and that for this reason what came looking ‘suspicious’ might well be ‘revelation’!

Also, to accept what was "in accordance with one of the masahif of Uthman, even if only probable" is an admission that what was contained in the ‘Uthmanic texts did not by any means delineate in the minds of the early scholars ‘the original Qur’an’. IF it had then they would have been very strict indeed as to ‘exactly’ what ‘might’ represent the ‘7 ahruf’. 

The present writer believes that the evidence of Islam itself is against accepting the assertion that an examination of "various recitations which were transmitted orally and in writing all over the world" would present anything more than a general agreement as to the modern graphic form. 

It certainly cannot give "a very good picture of the original Qur’an." That is an impossible conclusion to draw from the modern readings because of their history.

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  1/ The following list indicates the portions of text which were found present in the copy of the Samarqand Manuscript used. The letter ‘p’ indicates that only a portion of that aya (verse) is present; the word ‘end’ indicates that the text ‘to the end of the Surah’ is present. Out of 727 frames, some 715 were identified.

Q2:7-177p;179-186; 213p-217p; 231p-233p; 256p-273p; 282-286p
Q3:36p-45; 47p-92p; 97p-102p; 105p-148p; 154p-end
Q4:1-29p; 32p-43p; 72p-77p; 81p-90p, 94-144
Q16:7p-101p; 114p-119p
Q17:1-48p; 56p-105p; 116p-end
Q18:1-77p; 82p-106p
Q19:3p-44p; 52p-end
Q26:64p-117p; 130-142p; 155p-202p
Q27:1-22p; 28p-24p; 44p-80p
Q37:1-75; 91p-182p
Q40:4p-7; 51p-57p; 67p-83p
Frames 716-727: remain unidentified.

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